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Denmark Introduces Fat Tax

21 October 2011
According to the Washington Post article, Denmark Introduces Fat Tax to Curb Unhealthy Habits, Improve Life Expectancy, 2 October, 2011, Denmark’s "fat tax" on foods such as butter and oil is intended to curb “unhealthy eating habits”, this is in addition to initiatives to tax other “unhealthy” products such as…

Fast Food Suggested Target for Stealth Tax

30 September 2011
There has been a lot of talk about taxes in the media recently mainly centred on two proposals – a “wealth tax” and “junk food tax”. The wealth tax has been covered extensively but the debate about a fast food tax has yet to be adequately digested. Before we analyse…

Public Funds Perverting Market for Malaria Drugs

30 Sep 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
By trying to do too much, the disease-fighting Global Fund has run into problems. It is spending public funds in a way that is perverting the market for malaria drugs and could do more harm than good, say Roger Bate, the Legatum Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Richard…

Success of Consumer-Driven Principles in Medicare Programmes

01 Sep 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
America’s Medicare is in crisis. Already generating tens of billions of dollars annually in deficits, its financial challenges threaten taxpayers and enrolees alike. Moving to a premium-support model would reverse the programme's deterioration by using the dynamics of the free market to contain costs and improve consumer satisfaction, says Kathryn…

Health Reform Law Will Not Help Contain Costs

01 Sep 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The new U.S. health reform law won't help contain health costs, as the U.S. president so often claimed while lobbying for passage of his reform package. Instead, it will exacerbate them. Indeed, researchers estimate that health care spending will grow an average of 5.8 per cent per year through 2020,…

Government Intervention for Prescription Drugs Does Not Make Them Cheaper

24 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The prevailing assumption in Canadian drug policy is that without government intervention, the market will fail to achieve certain socially desirable outcomes, one of which is affordable access to prescription drugs, say Brett Skinner and Mark Rovere of the Fraser Institute. Skinner and Rovere's study suggests that, on average, greater government…

Safety-Net Providers after Health Care Reform: Lessons from Massachusetts

24 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
National health reform is designed to reduce the number of uninsured adults. Currently, many uninsured Americans receive care at safety-net health care providers such as community health centers (CHCs) or safety-net hospitals. This project examined data from Massachusetts to assess how the demand for ambulatory and inpatient care and use…

Solving the US Jobs Problem

18 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
As the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act winds down, the unemployment rate remains over 9 per cent and the economy is idling. It is increasingly clear that Keynesian stimulus has failed to get the economy where it needs to be. Now what? The U.S. economy faces problems that are structural…

Britain’s NHS Turns to Rationing

18 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Hip replacements, cataract surgery and tonsil removal are among operations now being rationed in a bid to save Britain's National Health Service (NHS) money, reports the Independent (U.K.).   Two-thirds of health trusts in England are rationing treatments for "non-urgent" conditions as part of the drive to reduce costs in the NHS…

Canadians Face Long Wait for New Medicines

12 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Federal and provincial government bureaucracies are taking more than two-and-a-half years on average to approve new prescription drugs, thereby depriving many Canadians of the latest in new medicines, finds a new report from the Fraser Institute. Canada's drug approval process involves two separate stages: First, Health Canada must certify a drug…

Why Medicare Patients See the Doctor too Much

27 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Almost all discussions about Medicare reform ignore one key factor: Medicare utilisation is roughly 50 per cent higher than private health insurance utilisation, even after adjusting for age and medical conditions, say Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar at the Institute for Policy Innovation, and Mark Litow, a retired health care…

Years of High American Unemployment Ahead at Recovery's Pace

27 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Despite the official end of the recession in June 2009, the labour market remains stagnant. Employment has fallen by nearly 7 million jobs since the recession began. Unemployment remains above 9 per cent. This is the weakest recovery of the post-World War II era. Current policies have not stimulated business…

The Future of Private Health Plans under US Health Reform

27 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The new US health reform law creates incentives for state and federal politicians and bureaucrats to exert direct control over the premiums of health plans. However, because health plans largely pass through costs from medical providers, artificially limiting increases in premiums cannot actually result in lower health costs. Instead, it…

Poorly Produced Medicines Pose Danger to Developing Countries

22 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Patients in emerging markets want greater access to medicines, but supplying medicines cheaply is proving problematic. Part of the difficulty is the proliferation of illegal counterfeits in the poorest markets. Yet new research shows that substandard medicines – those legally but poorly produced – pose an equally dangerous threat to…

How the US Federal Drug Administration Impedes Innovation

14 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
As the key gatekeeper for pharmaceutical and device innovation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a tough job. If it is too lenient, it will allow the sale of drugs and medical technology that could harm vulnerable Americans. Too tight, and the United States is being deprived of…

Long Waits Cost Canadians Millions

07 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The national median waiting time in Canada from specialist appointment to treatment increased from 8 weeks in 2009 to 9.3 weeks in 2010. But the measurement of waiting times, or the examination of the absolute delay Canadians must endure in order to receive medically necessary care, is only one way…

How Many Canadians Seek Medical Care outside of Canada?

07 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
There are a growing number of companies providing Canadians with easier access to medically necessary treatments outside the country. Of course, leaving Canada for medically necessary treatment is nothing new; Canadians have been doing so for many years, either in response to the unavailability of certain treatments, in response to…

Health insurance doesn't mean access to health care

01 Jul 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Expansions of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are designed to extend access to high-quality medical care to all U.S. children. However, evidence suggests that the 37 million children covered by Medicaid-CHIP are less likely to receive specialty care than children covered by commercial insurance, say Joanna Bisgaier,…

Mediscare: The surprising truth

15 Jun 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The Obama administration has repeatedly claimed that the health reform bill it passed last year improved Medicare's finances. This claim is true only because ObamaCare explicitly commits to cutting health care spending for the elderly and the disabled in future years, say Thomas R. Saving, a senior fellow, and John…

Are drugs made in emerging markets good quality?

15 Jun 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
One of the unwritten, unspoken and rarely thought-about assumptions of those buying medicines is that they will work. We take it for granted that the medicines we buy will work as the scientists who developed the product intended. But in many places this is not the case – especially in…

Britain's NHS seeks to limit care for smokers and obese individuals

03 Jun 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Great Britain's government-run health care system, the National Health Service (NHS), has long considered limiting coverage for people with illnesses deemed to be lifestyle-related. In 2005 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), NHS's guiding body, advised that smokers and obese people be refused health care. Now NHS…